The Paris Court of Appeal will announce their decision on the case filed by the French hedge fund Charity & Merger Arbitrage Fund (CIMA) against The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) [the French Financial Markets Authority] on 8 September 2015.
The legal action which was filed in the Court of Appeal on 9 April 2015 by CIMA against the decision made by the AMF to authorize the Euro Disney cash tender offer which is part of the recapitalization plan by The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) for the financially troubled Disneyland Paris resort.
According to CIMA the tender offer “completes an obvious situation of abuse of power in Euro Disney, which is not managed according to the common interest of its shareholders or even its own social interest. “
The AMF had previously indicated that the cash tender offer was scheduled to operate between the 2 April to 24 April 2015, but has been extended pending the decision of the Court of Appeal. This extension enables Euro Disney shareholders the opportunity of selling their shares to TWDC under the offer at 1.25 euros per share until September.
At a hearing held on Thursday 4 June 2015, Mr. Julien Visconti representing CIMA, which owns less than 1% of Euro Disney said in a brief to the Court of Appeal and sent to AFP press agency. “that the offer is the culmination of a long process of abuse of power that allowed The Walt Disney Company to capture more than 1.5 billion of Euro Disney, or three-quarters of the two billion in cumulative losses since the beginning of the project “.
He continued “that the ‘ridiculous‘ prices offered as part of the offer (1.25 euros per share), not take into account the fair value of Euro Disney property rights, and is barely a third of the net assets reassessed”, according to Mr. Visconti citing a legal expert report.
Following the capital increase TWDC now own 78.90% of Euro Disney up 39.12% from it’s original holding of 39.78% before the recapitalization started.
In April, the management of Euro Disney stated that the allegations made by the French hedge-fund CIMA were false and unfounded.
TWDC bailed out Euro Disney in October 2014 by injecting more than a billion euros into the troubled theme park. Crippled by debt since its opening in 1992, Euro Disney has already experienced financial restructuring in 1994 in 2004.